I’m a great fan of dottybacks, they’re characterful and often very attractive, but they aren’t easy to photograph in the wild. I’ve just written a post about orchid Dottybacks, fishes I really like, but I think P. aldabrensis impresses me a little bit more.
Finding them wasn’t entirely easy. For many years I struggled to see one. It was only when I headed a little more south in the Red Sea that I would catch a glimpse of one, and always when I had the wrong lens fitted.
I was in luck though, when I dived off the coast of Oman, they were plentiful, in fact they were so common I got quite bored of them and it is only a few years later when I found these pics on my hard drive that I once more realized just how amazing they are.
Like many dottybacks they enjoy caves and rocky habitats and you can see in the image below that they enjoy boulder strewn areas.
I hadn’t realized that there was a group of P. aldabrensis in this image until I viewed it on my PC. I was more interested in the soldierfish (Myripristis murdjan) and the cardinals, which look like Apogon aureus. It might not be easy to see, but there are four of them in this image.
Should you wish to keep one, look out for tank-raised specimens and bear in mind these can be belligerent fish, so plan purchases wisely.